“Most of us need to listen to the music to understand how beautiful it is. But often that’s how we present statistics: we just show the notes, we don’t play the music.” – Hans Rosling
If you have never heard of Hans Rosling, now is the time to get to know his work. He’s one of my great heroes, because he turns statistics into amazing stories using his enormous passion and great visualisations.
This is the first clip I ever saw of him, and I was mesmerized by it:
Other great examples are this TED talk, Or that time he used rolls of toilet paper to make his point!
There are other great examples of using visualisation to help to get a message from your data across, and the place to be amazed by the talent of people on this topic is the Information Is Beautiful Awards. Each year they award prizes to some amazing work, like the Oscars for Visualisation.
If once a year is not enough for you, then have a look at Visualising Data, from Andy Kirk. He posts a collection of great stuff he sees every month!
And there are some great resources to find about this topic as well, to name just two:
- Storytelling with data, by Cole Knaflic. She has also written a book, and is active on twitter where she has a monthly “Storytelling with data Challenge” (#swdchallenge). (I entered a #swdchallenge about scatterplots with a visual about the benches in the Vondelpark). Her podcasts are great too!
- Dataviztoday, by Alli Torban. She recorded a podcast (almost) every week in 2018 and there’s some great inspiration in there.
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